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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores a puzzle in comparative religion–state relations: both the atheist Chinese communist government and the democratic Taiwanese government have substantially restored the traditional, pluralistic, religious state of Chinese dynasties. After 1949, the Chinese government and the Taiwanese government developed different types of religion–state relations. The Chinese Communist government initially aimed to eliminate all religions but lost its religious legitimacy. After 1979, it swiftly established a Leninist religious state that would regain its religious legitimacy but maintain its dominance over all other religions. Similarly, the Taiwanese government started with a quasi-Leninist state to keep religions at arm’s-length. But after the lifting of martial law in 1987, the Taiwanese government gradually developed a democratic religious state by which religious freedom and equality are maximized. Both the Chinese government and the Taiwanese government developed neosacred states with differential impacts on religious freedom and equality.

Keywords: China, Taiwan, government, religion, neurotheology

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